By Katy Wilkie
April 17, 2015
Last week, Baltimore, Maryland pop-punkers All Time Low released their sixth studio album Future Hearts which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S. and was the best selling album in the country during its first week. Formed in 2003 by Alex Gaskarth (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jack Barakat (lead guitar), Zack Merrick (bass, backing vocals) and Rian Dawson (drums), the band began by playing blink-182 covers in their basement. Since then, they have come full circle, as they recently released the single “Tidal Waves” featuring blink bassist Mark Hoppus on vocals.
All Time Low are now riding the height of their career. The band just recently headlined a sold out show at Wembley Arena in the UK, released two brand new songs “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Kids in the Dark,” with accompanying music videos, and are gearing up to tour the US this spring in promotion of their new album.
Known for their energy-packed live shows, the quartet is bringing their Future Hearts Tour to The Fillmore Charlotte on April 21, appearing with Issues, Tonight Alive and State Champs. With their new album Future Hearts released on April 7 via Hopeless Records, All Time Low’s frontman Alex Gaskarth chatted with CLTure about releasing new music, touring in 2015, the band’s big-screen debut and what he’s currently got in rotation on his own personal playlist.
CLTure: It’s been almost three years since your last album Don’t Panic was released. How does it feel to be releasing brand new music in 2015?
Alex Gaskarth: Releasing new music is always such an exciting moment in a band’s career. We spent the better part of a year writing and recording this album, so to finally be able to share it with the world is the ultimate payoff.
CLTure: What was the inspiration behind naming the album Future Hearts? Does the album follow a theme?
AG: Yeah, absolutely. The record is all about tracing our steps back to every moment we felt truly alive, free, and like we were on the right track. We build our own future, and the sentiment expressed by the whole album is that wild aspirations are attainable.
CLTure: Fans were given a taste of the new album with the advance release of “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Kids in the Dark.” How has the feedback been so far?
AG: So far it has all been really positive! There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the new release so we’re just happy to see that it’s paying off. There’s always some nerves surrounding a new record, and we never want to disappoint our fans, so the amazing reaction to the first couple of songs has been really gratifying.
CLTure: Future Hearts features some exciting collaborations, including Mark Hoppus and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden. What can you tell us about their contributions to the album? What did you learn from working with them?
AG: Joel and I wrote a song together and it’s a true good-vibes duet. I’m really proud of what we came up with, and the song is super feel-good and catchy. Mark sang on another song that’s really all about earning your place in the world. Having someone we’ve looked up to for so long contribute on that kind of subject matter is super validating for us. Plus, Mark has such a signature voice that it really gives the song an awesome lift.
CLTure: The new album was produced by John Feldmann, who has worked with the likes of The Used, 5 Seconds of Summer and Sleeping With Sirens, to name a few. How was it working in studio with him? What did you take from the process of working with Feldmann?
AG: John is a whirlwind of awesome creativity and excitement. He stretched us and pulled us out of many of our comfort zones, so we ended up writing and creating from a lot of new perspectives. Overall I think he helped us grow into something we’ve never been before.
CLTure: In support of the new album, All Time Low is heading out as headliners on the Future Hearts Tour in the US this spring. Are you excited to play new songs live for the fans? How would you describe the live experience of seeing All Time Low for fans that are seeing you for the first time on this tour?
AG: Yea! We take so much pride in our live show, and we put in a lot of effort to bring the songs to life in that environment; It’s really important to us to leave people wanting more, and walking away with a super memorable experience. We have a blast on stage and I think that translates over to the fans, the way we kind of feed off of each other.
CLTure: Aside from releasing new music, All Time Low is making their big screen debut for the upcoming Meg Ryan film Fan Girl this spring. What was it like working on your first film? How did the opportunity come about?
AG: Working on the film was a really cool experience, and in a lot of ways, it felt like shooting a music video. We had some performance scenes, so that was familiar territory for us, and I think that made things easier going into the acting parts as well. We were written into the film from the start, so when they approached us with the idea, it seemed like a really fun and different thing to do.
CLTure: You and Jack are hosts on the podcast Full Frontal, which had its season 3 finale last April. Can fans expect a fourth season this year?
AG: Yes! Coming soon!
CLTure: Who is currently on your playlist that you’d recommend checking out?
AG: Sia, Pvris and letlive.
CLTure: 2015 looks like it’s going to be a big year for All Time Low, is there anything that you’re most excited about?
AG: I always look forward to the touring side of things. There are still a ton of places around the world that we have yet to visit and perform, so I’m looking forward to bringing ATL to some new fans across the globe.
CLTure: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, any parting words for our readers?
AG: Thanks so much! We love you guys!
Catch All Time Low on April 21st at Fillmore Charlotte.